While studying my absentee ballot, I was reminded of the joke suggesting that democracy should amount to more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
This is particularly true as related to the incumbents in Atascadero.
Although I know that it is a citizen’s patriotic duty to vote, when I consider these choices, I can’t simply hold my nose and check the ballot. Not when I have seen firsthand instances of unethical behavior and mismanagement by incumbents Tom O’Malley, Roberta Fonzi and Bob Kelley.
All three are mired in the controversies involving developer Kelly Gearhart, FEMA alleged fraud, redevelopment agency malfeasance, as well as a stubborn refusal to address the vacation accrual problem, wherein the city allowed an unfunded liability of a quarter million dollars in direct violation of personnel rules.
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Although, as a former mayor and council member, I spoke to these abuses, my words fell on deaf ears, and I came to realize that these incumbents have turned public service into self-service.
I represent that in good conscience, I cannot vote for those who have a track record of condoning unethical management. Rather than holding my nose and checking the ballot, I will simply withhold my vote and encourage others to follow their conscience.